How to properly set up and use sprints in Notion?

Want to learn how to effectively manage sprints in Notion? Let me help you with that.

In today’s busy world, managing projects and tasks is often a challenge. But Notion offers a solution that can revolutionize the way you work.


What are sprints?

Sprints are a concept from the agile project management method that aims to divide complex projects into manageable, time-limited work sections. These work periods, also called sprints, typically last one to four weeks and have clear goals to be achieved during the sprint.

During a sprint, the team focuses on completing a defined set of tasks or implementing specific functions. A review is conducted at the end of each sprint to assess progress, collect feedback, and plan next steps.

Sprints offer several benefits, including the ability to break complex projects into manageable chunks, a clear focus on short-term goals, regular reviews and adjustments, and encouraging team collaboration. They are an important part of many agile project management methods and are used by teams in various industries and areas to optimize the way they work and increase efficiency.

How do sprints differ from projects?

Sprints and projects are two different concepts, but they are often linked, especially in agile project management methodology.

A project is a time-limited initiative aimed at achieving a specific goal. It has a clearly defined beginning and end, defined goals, resources and a budget. Projects can have different sizes and levels of complexity and can go through different phases, such as planning, execution, monitoring and closure.

A sprint, on the other hand, is a time frame within a project that is used to complete specific work packages or tasks. Sprints are typically shorter than the entire project and usually last one to four weeks. During a sprint, the team focuses on completing a defined set of tasks to be completed during that period.

So the main difference is that a project encompasses the entire effort, while a sprint is a time-limited section within that project that aims to achieve specific goals. Sprints are often used in agile project management methods such as Scrum to divide work into manageable units and enable continuous delivery of results.

Sprints in Notion

Notion recently started offering a sprint feature.

To access these, users must use a standard template, either “Project and Tasks” or “Project, Tasks and Sprints”. The Project and Tasks template provides the flexibility to add sprints later, while the Project, Tasks and Sprints template already has all the elements.

The only problem? Currently (as of May 2024) you cannot add sprints to a regular database in Notion, you need the template.

When you load the template, 4 pages of databases will be created:

  • Tasks
  • Projects
  • Sprints
  • Sprints board

To maintain clarity, I recommend moving the template pages to their own Notion page. In our example, we call this page “Sprints in Notion.

To do this, click on the three dots next to Sprints, Projects, or Tasks in the sidebar and click Move.

You will now receive the message:

Do you really want to postpone sprints?

Sprints, projects and tasks are closely related to each other. You can move them together, otherwise problems may arise after separating them.

Agree and the databases will be moved. Now all you have to do is move the sprint board.

Let’s look at the different databases:

  • Tasks and projects.

You’ve probably already found your way around here, so I’ll just go into it briefly: The task database contains all tasks and is linked to the projects and sprints. The project database contains all projects and shows you which tasks arise within a project.

  • Sprints:

This database displays all current, future, and past sprints, the number of tasks in the sprints, and the percentage of tasks completed.

  • Sprint board

The sprint board is even more important for the user. This is a central platform to manage tasks associated with a specific sprint.

By clicking on the sprint board, you automatically get access to the current sprint and can track the progress of your tasks in real time. You can also change the status of tasks in the Kanban board using drag and drop.

The Sprint Planning database view shows the current and all future sprints as well as the associated tasks. In the example below we see three tasks associated with this first sprint.

The Backlog view is also important: This contains tasks that have not yet been assigned to a sprint.

Working with sprints in Notion

We see that sprints are basically just an innovative way to organize tasks. Sprints enrich the static task-project structure by adding a flexible and dynamic layer. Tasks that arose in one sprint but could not be completed can be carried over into the next sprint.

How do we do this in Notion? Using an automation that is part of the Sprint Board database. To do this, we click on the “Complete Sprint” button. We now see the next sprint (in our case “Sprint 2”) and we select the start and end dates of the next sprint. Since we haven’t completed all the tasks in the current sprint, we are asked if we want to move the unfinished tasks from the current sprint to the next one. Optionally, we can transfer this task to the backlock or keep it in the current sprint.

If we now go into the sprint database, we see that the current sprint is now sprint 2, and the next sprint created is sprint 3. Of course, you can adapt these names to your needs.

And that was my quick introduction to the new Notion Sprints feature. Personally, I find sprints very interesting and can also imagine that they are an interesting way to increase productivity not only for development teams or agencies, but also for solopreneurs or self-employed people. I’m excited to see how Notion will expand and further integrate this in the future, and will of course keep you updated.

Until then, I encourage you to try out this new functionality and subscribe to our newsletter. See you next time!


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